The third Test between India and Sri Lanka in New Delhi over the last few days witnessed a swashbuckling double-century from Virat Kohli, a gritty 164 from Dinesh Chandimal, and an equally impressive fourth-innings ton from Dhananjaya de Silva, but the match will remain in memory as the one where the Sri Lankan players had to field with masks on to counter the smog in the Indian capital city.
Although the match ended in a draw on Wednesday (December 6), India won the three-Test series 1-0, registering their ninth consecutive series win. Incidentally, their winning streak started against Sri Lanka, when India won 2-1 on their tour of the island nation back in 2015.
Currently, India are tied with Australia and England in terms of most consecutive series wins. Next, they will tour South Africa where they are yet to register a series win.
Most consecutive Test series wins
|India||9*||v Sri Lanka, 2015||v Sri Lanka, 2017-18|
|Australia||9||v World XI, 2005-06||v West Indies, 2008|
|England||9||v Australia, 1884||v South Africa, 1891-92|
Meanwhile, after his 213 in the second Test, Kohli scored yet another double in the first innings in the third – this time 243, his career-best. He became the sixth batsman after Wally Hammond (twice), Don Bradman, Vinod Kambli, Kumar Sangakkara and Michael Clarke to score double-centuries in back-to-back innings.
This was Kohli’s sixth double in Test cricket, putting him level with Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag for the most double-centuries for India. All six of Kohli’s double-tons have come while leading the side, taking him past Brian Lara, who had scored five double-centuries as captain.
This was also Kohli’s third double-ton in 2017. Only Michael Clarke (four) has scored more in a calendar year. Last year, too, Kohli had three scores of 200 or more in Test cricket.
Most double-centuries in a calendar year
|Michael Clarke (Aus)||11||18||3||1595||329*||106.33||4||2012|
|Don Bradman (Aus)||6||8||0||978||334||122.25||3||1930|
|Ricky Ponting (Aus)||11||18||3||1503||257||100.20||3||2003|
|Brendon McCullum (NZ)||9||16||0||1164||302||72.75||3||2014|
|Virat Kohli (Ind)||10||16||2||1059||243||75.64||3||2017|
|Virat Kohli (Ind)||12||18||2||1215||235||75.93||3||2016|
During the course of his innings, Kohli completed 5000 runs in Test cricket in just 105 innings – the fourth fastest among Indians to reach the landmark. By the end of the match, he had 5268 runs to his name.
Fastest to 5000 Test runs
|Sunil Gavaskar||95||Australia||Bangalore||September 19, 1979|
|Virender Sehwag||99||Sri Lanka||Galle||July 31, 2008|
|Sachin Tendulkar||103||Pakistan||Kolkata||February 16, 1999|
|Virat Kohli||105||Sri Lanka||Delhi||December 2, 2017|
|Rahul Dravid||108||England||Leeds||August 22, 2002|
Note: Sehwag’s record includes one Test for ICC World XI
Kohli continued his rich vein of form with an innings of 50 in the second innings as well, thus taking his run-tally in the series to 610, fourth-most by any batsman in a three-Test series.
Most runs a three-Test series
|Graham Gooch (Eng)||3||6||0||752||333||125.33||3||India in England, 1990|
|Brian Lara (WI)||3||6||0||688||221||114.66||3||Windies in Sri Lanka, 2001-02|
|Mohammad Yousuf (Pak)||3||5||0||665||192||133.00||4||Windies in Pakistan, 2006-07|
|Virat Kohli (Ind)||3||5||1||610||243||152.50||3||Sri Lanka in India, 2017-18|
|David Warner (Aus)||3||6||0||592||253||98.66||3||New Zealand in Australia, 2015-16|
If runs flowed from Kohli’s bat, Ajinkya Rahane, his deputy, could hardly score any. In the five innings Rahane played in the series, he could gather just 17 runs at an average of 3.40. Mohinder Amarnath of India once had a solitary run from six innings against Windies in 1983-84, the least for a top-seven batsman in a series.
Least runs in a series for a top-seven batsman
|Mohinder Amarnath (Ind)||3||6||0||1||0.16||5||Windies in India, 1983-84|
|Ken Rutherford (NZ)||4||7||0||12||1.71||3||New Zealand in Windies, 1984-85|
|Richie Benaud (Aus)||3||5||0||15||3.00||2||Ashes (Australia in England), 1953|
|Shaun Marsh (Aus)||4||6||0||17||2.83||3||India in Australia, 2011-12|
|Ricky Ponting (Aus)||3||5||0||17||3.40||3||Australia in India, 2000-01|
|Ajinkya Rahane (Ind)||3||5||0||17||3.40||1||Sri Lanka in India, 2017-18|
Note: Minimum five dismissals
India set Sri Lanka a target of 410, but de Silva’s innings of 119 before he retired hurt helped the visiting side salvage a draw on the final day. Sri Lanka ended with 299 for 5 in their second innings – the highest fourth-innings total by any visiting side in India. The previous highest was Windies’ 276 for 5 at the same venue when Viv Richards steered his side to a five-wicket victory.
Highest fourth-innings total by a visiting side in India
|Sri Lanka||299/5||103||Draw||New Delhi||December 2, 2017|
|Windies||276/5||85.3||Windies||New Delhi||November 25, 1987|
|New Zealand||272/6||107||Draw||Ahmedabad||October 8, 2003|
|Windies||270/7||93||Draw||Chennai||January 13, 1967|
|Windies||266||81.4||India||Mumbai||November 18, 1994|
Earlier, Dilruwan Perera picked up his 100th Test wicket when he dismissed Shikhar Dhawan in the first innings. Perera took just 25 matches to reach the landmark, breaking Muttiah Muralitharan’s Sri Lankan record of 27 Tests.
Fastest to 100 Test wickets for Sri Lanka
|Dilruwan Perera||25||India||New Delhi||December 2, 2017|
|Muttiah Muralitharan||27||New Zealand||Hamilton||March 14, 1997|
|Rangana Herath||29||Australia||Colombo (SSC)||September 16, 2011|
|Lasith Malinga||30||India||Colombo (PSS)||August 3, 2010|
|Chaminda Vaas||33||Zimbabwe||Harare||November 26, 1999|
This was the last Test for India in 2017, which meant R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja ended the year with 56 and 54 scalps respectively. At the time of writing, Ashwin was second on the list of highest wicket-takers this calendar year, while Jadeja was fourth, though this may change by the time the year ends.
Most Test wickets in 2017
|Nathan Lyon (Aus)||9||57||22.10||8-50||13-154||49.4||5||1|
|R Ashwin (Ind)||11||56||27.58||6-41||8-125||59.3||2||0|
|Kagiso Rabada (SA)||10||54||20.96||6-55||10-63||38.5||3||2|
|Ravindra Jadeja (Ind)||10||54||23.05||6-63||9-178||56.5||3||0|
|Rangana Herath (SL)||11||52||27.53||6-43||11-136||53.6||5||2|